The combined oral contraceptive pill does alleviates the symptoms of painful menstrual periods
A large Scandinavian study that has been running for 30 years has finally provided convincing evidence that the combined oral contraceptive pill does, indeed, alleviate the symptoms of painful menstrual periods – dysmenorrhoea. The research is published online in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction  today (Wednesday).
Although some previous studies and anecdotal evidence have suggested that the combined oral contraceptive pill could have an impact on painful periods, a 2009 review of all the available research by the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration concluded that there was limited evidence for pain improvement.
The new findings by Dr Ingela Lindh and her colleagues at the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, Sweden, show that women who used the combined oral contraceptive pill suffered less severe pain compared with women who did not use it. Young women often seem to suffer more from painful periods than older women, and the researchers also found that increasing age did alleviate the symptoms, but the effects of pill use and age were independent of each other, with the pill having a greater effect.
- Published in Women's Health